Probiotics may improve a person’s health by regulating their immune function. Some trials have shown that probiotic strains can prevent respiratory infections. Even though the previous version of our review showed benefits of probiotics for acute upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs), several new studies have been published.

There is an increasing interest in understanding how the ‘Western diet’ affects immunity. Many people across the globe have adopted this diet, and epidemiological studies have revealed that it correlates with a high incidence of chronic inflammatory disorders, including diabetes, multiple sclerosis and asthma. Nevertheless, because the Western diet includes a large proportion of red

s13379569Dec 2013 saw a paper published in Interdisciplinary Toxicology that explored the notion that the popular herbicide called Roundup may have a relational link to its increased use.[1] In addition a number of other complex and distressing health conditions have been are increasingly attributed to this chemical.

Glyphosate was not originally designed as a herbicide. Patented by the Stauffer Chemical Company in 1964, it was introduced as a chelating agent. It avidly binds to metals. Glyphosate was first used as a descaling agent to clean out mineral deposits from the pipes in boilers and other hot water systems.

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journal.jpgIt has been proposed that risk for developing the autoimmune condition coeliac disease (CD) may be linked to the time that the infant is weaned to consume gluten containing foods. However, the timing of gluten introduction into an infant’s diet does not appear to influence a child’s subsequent risk of developing CD investigators report in an article published online January 19 in Pediatrics.[1] The new finding, from a multinational prospective birth cohort study, challenges some current ideas on how best to prevent the onset of the autoimmune disorder.

logoIt’s always a challenge to take a single, isolated nutrient and try to prove a health benefit within a research study. Unlike drugs, which mostly have a clear mode of action on their own, nutrients generally usually work synergistically with other nutrients and lifestyle factors to generate health benefits. So when a meta-analysis (review of multiple studies) of one vitamin all show a similar clinical outcome, it is a significant finding and offers some clarity on the use of a nutrient in isolation as well as in combination with others.

JAND_v115_i1_COVER.inddDo it.

Just one cup of blueberries per day could be the key to reducing blood pressure and arterial stiffness, both of which are associated with cardiovascular disease.

The studies findings suggest that regular consumption of blueberries could potentially delay the progression of prehypertension to hypertension, therefore reducing cardiovascular disease risk.[1]

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which includes Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC), is a chronic inflammation of the small intestine and colon caused by a dysregulated immune response to host intestinal microbiota in genetically susceptible subjects. A number of fermented dairy products contain lactic acid bacteria (LAB) and bifidobacteria, some of which have been characterised as probiotics that can modify the gut microbiota and may be beneficial for the treatment and the prevention of IBD.

The objective of this review was to carry out a systematic search of LAB and bifidobacteria probiotics and IBD, using the PubMed and Scopus databases, defined by a specific equation using MeSH terms and limited to human clinical trials. The use of probiotics and/or synbiotics has positive effects in the treatment and maintenance of UC, whereas in CD clear effectiveness has only been shown for synbiotics.

If you have ever travelled across time zones you will be familiar with the adverse effects on your physical function an loss of clarity and productivity – well it seems that the organisms present in your gut, share the same trip and to some extent the same consequences. Published in Cell researchers explored the consequences of this effect on adiposity and metabolic functionality. Whilst they are naturally cautious about translation from a mouse model to a human one, they noted some interesting observations, that may explain some peoples adverse physical consequences derived in part as a result of cross time zone travel.[1]

Organisms ranging from bacteria to humans have circadian clocks to help them synchronise their biological activities to the time of day. This paper now reveals that gut microbes in mice and humans have circadian rhythms that are controlled by the biological clock of the host in which they reside. Disruption of the circadian clock in the host alters the rhythms and composition of the microbial community, potentially leading to obesity and metabolic problems.

The problem facing may people in the coming decades is that of loss of cognition, and for those already facing this reality it may be of some comfort to know that a lifestyle approach has generated very positive recovery of function using a simple set of interventions. Published in the journal Aging This report describes a novel, comprehensive, and personalised therapeutic program that is based on the underlying pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease, and which involves multiple modalities designed to achieve metabolic enhancement for neurodegeneration (MEND).[1]

Apples; great for SCFA production, restoring bacterial eubiosis in a disrupted gut and likely able to assist with weight management, say scientists in the journal Food Chemistry.[1] Apples, in general, have shown to protect against human chronic diseases due to their content of fibre and phenolic compounds. These bioactive compounds have low availability and can potentially reach to colon, modulate the balance of bacterial populations in the gut, and influence the host physiology. The apple health benefits are, in part, due to the interaction of fibre and phenolics with gut microbiota that results in changes in phenolic bioavailability and activity, and the production of short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) after fibre fermentation.